Amid rising Covid cases on daily basis, the Centre on Saturday wrote to seven states reporting rising infections, asking them to ensure adequate testing, and promote Covid-appropriate behaviour.
In a letter to Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said: "Upcoming months are likely to witness mass gatherings in context of various festivities to be held in different parts of the country, leading to large number of individuals undertaking intra- and inter-state journey or congregating at same places."
Noting that this may potentially facilitate transmission of infectious diseases, including Covid-19, he said that it is critical to ensure adequate testing is undertaken in all the districts of the state while maintaining the recommended share of RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests.
"The state must also closely monitor districts reporting higher cases, positivity rates and clusters to prevent further spread of infection and effective case management.
"ln view of some changes in symptoms and clinical manifestation of the disease, it is crucial to monitor and report district wise lnfluenza-like illness (lLl) & SARI cases in all health facilities as per the guidelines, on a regular basis for detecting early warning signals of the spread of infection," he underlined in the letter.
The Genome Sequencing of prescribed samples of international passengers as well as collection of samptes from sentinel sites (identified health facilities) and local cluster of new Covid-19 cases is equally important, he added.
The Centre has also asked these states to increase the pace of vaccination for all eligible population and accelerate the administration of free precaution doses.
These states have also been advised to diligently follow the five-fold strategy, 'Test-Track- Treat-Vaccinate and adherence to Covid Appropriate Behaviour within the community.